Dollywaggon Pike to Raise in Snow on a Beautiful Blue Sky Day!

Name of walk Dollywaggon Pike to Raise in Snow on a Beautiful Blue Sky Day!
Date of walk 2013-04-03
Distance walked (miles) 9
Duration of walk 6 hours 30 minutes
Weather Snow and wind
Peaks on walk Dollywaggon Pike, High Crag, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn, Helvellyn Lower Man, Whiteside, Raise.

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I decided to walk from Dollywaggon Pike to Raise using two cars. One parked at the start of St. John’s in the Vale and one on Dunmail Raise. We would walk up Raise Beck to Grisedale Tarn, then take the zig zags up Dollywaggon Pike (2810ft), to High Crag (2900ft), Nethermost Pike (2920ft), Helvellyn (3118ft), Helvellyn Lower man (3034ft)
Whiteside (3832ft) and Raise (2889ft) and back down the Sticks Pass.
A walk of about 9 miles.

01

We had been looking forward to this route for a while and were waiting for a good day to walk it. Raise Beck was completely full of snow. No sign of the cascades. it made for very easy walking as there were no rocks to climb!

02

Walking up what should have been a waterfall.

03

Grisedale Tarn with Fairfield and St. Sunday Crag behind.

04

We head around the tarn. The zig zags up Dollywaggon Pike on the left

06

Seat Sandal on the right.

07

We gain some height.

08

Looking back down a zig zag to Fairfield.

09

Ged took this photo of me looking down the Grisedale Valley to Ullswater. I keep away from the cornice. The wind was really strong.

10

St. Sunday Crag

11

The fence post shown on the OS map, Ullscarf behind. We head up to Dollywaggon Pike summit in ferocious winds.

12

Ged takes this of me on Dollywaggon Pike summit.

13

View out.

14

We head around to High Crag.

15

The near cornice is starting to slip. Someone's footprints shows they got a bit too near to the edge! There are also avalanche warnings today..

16

Summit of High Crag with Nethermost Pike beyond.

17

Looking back up to High Crag from the route up to Nethermost Pike.

19

Looking back along the plateau of Nethermost Pike.

20

Looking over to a panorama of the route up Helvellyn with Striding Edge heading off right.

21

Approaching the summit of Helvellyn I notice the Fell Assessor doing his daily measurements. He does have scientific equipment to do this. He is not just putting a wet finger in the air and saying "A bit nippy today lads"........

22

Helvellyn summit plateau with large cornice. The tracks on the east face of the mountain were made by snowboarders!

23

Jon the Fell Assessor. We met last year in much warmer circumstances on one of my solo walks up Helvellyn. During the winter months the Fell Assessor comes up every day to take weather measurements and assess the snow and ice conditions. Jon does alternate weeks with the other Fell Assessor, Jason. http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/ This is the website I go to to check the mountain forecast and conditions. The data comes from the Fell Assessors. Today the wind speed is 30mph on Helvellyn summit and the temperature with wind chill is -13C.....a bit nippy! We chat with Jon for a bit before heading over to the Striding Edge exit, the way he came up. He is returning via the Swirral Edge exit. Jon says that they should be finished by now for the season, but are doing an extra week because of the extreme conditions for the time of the year.

24

View down to the Striding Edge exit. In winter it is a climbers route only..

26

From the Gough Memorial we head back over to the summit.

27

28

View back to the fells we have walked over.

29

Trig point.

30

View down Swirral Edge. Jon is nearly at the first dip.

31

Looking down on an invisible Red Tarn and the north side of Striding Edge.

32

We head for Helvellyn Lower Man. Note the 4m overhanging, pointed cornice on the left..

34

and again.

35

Catstycam and Swirral Edge.

36

Looking down from Helvellyn Lower Man to Whiteside and Raise.

37

Looking steeply back up. Wouldn't want to do this without spikes!

38

Ged...

39

Panorama looking back to Catstycam, Swirral Edge and Helvellyn Lower Man from the route up Whiteside. The wind coming up the valley is savage! Much more than on the summit. Must be 45mph+

40

From Whiteside looking towards Raise. The Sticks Pass is the other side.

41

Raise summit cairn. Kas wishes he could be out of the wind!

42

Raise ski lift and a few skiers. No queueing here! Who needs The Alps!

43

Almost at the Sticks Pass. Raise summit beyond Ged, ski slope on the left.

44

Looking back to Raise as we head down the Sticks Pass......bye bye wind! Finally we can remove our hoods!

45

High Rigg, Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake in view. The snow hasn't finished yet there is still the snowy steep section to come!

46

We have a late lunch in the sheep fold. It was far too cold and windy to stop on the summits..

We made it down the steep section…..a bit hard on the knees and the snow was a bit slushy. Glad we didn’t need to walk the 5 miles back to Dunmail Raise!
An excellent day! The walk had taken us six and a half hours.

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